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Massive Open Online Courses

Volume 570: debated on Monday 11 November 2013

MOOCs present a huge opportunity for this country and are part of a technological revolution that we are seeing around the world. A student in Newcastle can now watch a lecture online from a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for free. I think that helps democratise education and open up knowledge.

Does the Minister agree that MOOCs are a way of ensuring that all children, from whatever background, can get an outstanding education from world-class communicators, thus freeing up teachers to help children with their online exercises?

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Thanks to our new national curriculum and qualifications, which are much more flexible, we are seeing a rise in the number of MOOCs in this country. Cambridge university is developing a new MOOC for physics and there are online courses, such as our new core maths course for 16 to 18-year-olds, which is enabling students to study international baccalaureate maths online in their schools.